The Cake Crit

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The Cake Crit!

Using cake to create something that is visually pleasing! This is all about the visual, and the judges will not be tasting these.

So at first I thought we were sculpting out of cake, like baking a big cake and then making a sculpture out of it. However in class watching a demonstration I soon learned that we are kinda using it as a base for something else. So during the demonstration, she cut out a rectangle and dressed it up with some dehydrated carrots, a sauce with apples and icing over ice that froze immediately.

So this is some of the ideas that I came up with.

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I decided to go with the personal wedding cake idea.

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I tried my best to cut this cake into a hexagon then I cut up apples, coasted them with lemon juice to stop them from browning and then I made a vanilla buttercream icing with a plant based butter spread, crisco, powered sugar, vanilla, salt and almond milk. I then took that frosting mixed it with mashed banana and mashed pieces of cake. I took that mixture and spread it on top of the apples. Then I added another layer of cake cut into a hexagon as well. I also took little balls of the cake and placed them on top with pearls in the middle. After all that I iced the cake and mixed together some lemon juice with powered sugar to make a glaze and I glazed it over the cake.
SO i was wrong as far as my idea of the assignment so I will not be using this example anymore.

This was just a little joke for my best friend while practicing!

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This next one I tried to make it look something like what we were shown in class. I used carrots, I used the dots, or circle that were talked about in class and at the demonstration. I made a homemade strawberry jam, boiled some strawberries, with lemon juice and sugar and I used that as a "sauce" to make my dots. Then I used dehydrated fruits with the carrots and jam. I liked the dehydrated fruits because they provided juxtaposition crunch with so much sweet and soft going on. I did not however have a "theme" or a "idea" when making this or even afterwards it was just a thought put together as an inspiration from class today. I don't know if I like it yet.

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So my mom said this things looks super plain and she advised me to try something new so I went back to my notes and one thing that stook out to me was the timeless, classic look of nature. Nature is great! Like who doesn't love nature, I can work with that.

SO originally I was going with this swan Idea made out of an apple that I can place into the cake. Cutting the cake like a fruit bowl or something however that doesn't work because the swan apple would completely cover the cake and I don't think it will be okay for the crit.

SO the final product that I made had a tropical island theme. I wanted to use some nature so I used spinach to bring out the "green" side since lately people have been on a "go green" frenzy. I covered the cake in chocolate because who doesn't like chocolate? Especially with pearls on top. I also added a cinnamon stick on top for a little juxtaposition with crunch and if you still thinking tropical island with a big chocolate mountain then you have a tree branch on the mountain. Just a little imagination!

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Assignment 2

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Assignment two is two create an horderve that can fit on a spoon. It has to use a fruit or vegetable that is in season and have 2-5 flavors. The goals is also to transform the texture of the main ingredient.

My first thought was to create a mind map of some possible ideas.

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This is what I started with.

The first Idea that I tried was like a bean dip on a spoon. I love black beans and I have black beans at home so this should be fairly inexpensive to make. A lot of people like black bean soup, which is a transformation of texture in itself but I could also turn that soup into a dip that can fit on a spoon.

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So this was my first execution. I boiled the black beans with corn, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, ginger root, celery and seasonings. Which include, pink rock salt, black pepper, roasted garlic salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and parsley. Afterwards i took a big spoonful and pureed it altogether. Then placed some individual vegetables on top. I thought this was great. It used multiple vegetables some of which were in season and others that were not. There was also multiple flavors, one may argue to much but a lot of flavors were the same so I counted them as one. There was also a transformation of texture that occurred twice. Once when boiling, the heat and water caused most of the vegetables to become more water soluble and therefore softening the vegetables and changing the texture. I changed the texture again when I pureed the food into apple sauce consistency. To me this was a success but my mother said it wasn't creative enough.

My next idea stemmed from a favorite food that a lot of people have. Spaghetti! I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like some variation of spaghetti. So this idea would be spaghetti on a spoon, sounds simple but yet so convenient. One thing about spaghetti that I find annoying sometimes is that it can be messy! On picture day 1st grade they fed us spaghetti for lunch. Needless to say many people including myself had to retake our pictures. So why not transform the noodles, same ingredients but make it easier to eat right?

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So this is angel hair noodles cooked in water with olive oil, oregano and basil.The sauce is obviously tomatoes. Then I pureed the noodles and but not pudding consistency. They are more like chopped, into tiny pieces but not mush if that makes sense. Then I placed spaghetti sauce on top. There is definitely more than one flavor in this dish it can be topped with cheese, meat, parsley, mushrooms, or even a pepperoni. This dish is suspicious to me because I don;t think it's truly transforming the shape if it's chopped into minuscule pieces. Are the judges looking for texture transformation from the original product? because that would be almost any cooking process or texture transformation from the usual way it is cooked.

Here is the part where I really struggled, I know that it would be very easy to make a dessert but it;s easy to transform the texture of a dessert. I did a dessert last crit and I want to try something else. But I feel like I have great ideas for desserts. First I could make a coconut milk dessert, That would be transforming the texture but coconut aren't in season in Minnesota. I could also make a warm cream cheese pudding with berries on top and a tart coconut milk whip cream. That would provide contrast in flavors, transform texture and use a fruit that's in season.

I could also make a pineapple cucumber and mint dessert. I could gel the pineapple juice with shredded cucumber and mint either on top or inside the gelled pineapple.

So I know that I want to use butternut squash because it's in season and very easy to manipulate. I also want to use the cucumber idea some how and incorporate the two together. They both have two distinct flavors. I really like squash with orange juice and cumin in it but maybe I can gel the orange juice this time. I can probably get more flavor from the orange juice this way. So all is going to work out if the orange juice gels.

When practicing at home everything went well except I was having a lot of trouble with getting the orange juice to gel. If it gelled I lost a lot of flavor and it never really gelled to the consistency that I wanted it to gel. Hopefully this will be fixed before I have to g

So on the day of the crit I could not get my orange juice to gel. I tried many different times and I also used a gum that was given to me by the woman who runs the lab. Nothing seemed to help the gelling of the orange juice. So instead of the cucumber being a small topping I would have to make it apart of the dish because I didn't want to serve the squash bare even thought it was good on it own and it had texture transformation and flavors. But i just kept telling myself that it would work out and the judges would think it's a unique and maybe never done before flavor combination. So I baked the squash, with a plant based butter, salt, cumin, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and then pureed it with a small amount of orange juice. After which I mixed the mashed cucumber mix with mint and gelled it in the calcium and algenate. Placed the cucumber mixture on top of the squash and sprinkled it with a cumin and sugar mixture.

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